Advance Scout: Mavs at Blazers
Posted Apr 13, 2012

No LaMarcus tonight for the Blazers, thus freeing up Dirk and 'Trix to do their respective things. But Dallas must also concern itself with my old boss Dick Motta's "Wounded Tiger Theory'' here. Inside the Mavs-Blazers playbooks and 'How The Mavs Must Beat Portland':

The Race In The West ...

The Race To The West Playoffs … updated daily to keep y’all posted on where the Mavs stand!

Let's get to tonight's Dallas Mavericks-at-Blazers tip -- and some of the strategy...

The starting lineups, and NBA scouting info from Kyle Leath ...

BLAZERS 28-31 MAVS 33-26

F- Nicolas Batum F- Shawn Marion

F- JJ Hickson F- Dirk Nowitzki

C- Joel Przybilla C- Brendan Haywood

G- Wesley Matthews G- Delonte West

G- Raymond Felton G- Jason Kidd

DONUT 5: A look at the Blazers Offense ...

• This is a transition team with Felton pushing the ball. In secondary break they will trail with Camby and look to get the PF open on block-to-block cross screens with ball reversal. And yes, JJ Hickson can do some of the things in LaMarcus' place.

• Much of their set offense is on left side of floor. It's now about Felton setting up on that side, with JJ Hickson as a potential partner.

• They usually use Aldridge in mid pick/roll action. He likes to pop and shoot 18-footer off the elbows. But he's out with a hip problem that will require surgery. That frees up the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion to do their respective things. But Dallas must also concern itself with my old boss Dick Motta's "Wounded Tiger Theory'' here.

• 1-4 series is their primary continuity offense. Will UCLA cut PG to weak side Flex action. Also will use to post PG on UCLA cut.

DONUT 6: A look at the Blazers Defense ...

• Man-to-man and really take chances in the passing lanes both on perimeter and interior. Will hit hard at ball. Mavs must be strong on drives.

• Handle big/little ball screens by showing to flatten and recover. Will switch some guard/guard ball screens.

• Show full-court pressure after made FTs.

In addition to watching the Mavs-Blazers ...

We've got The Fish with Coach O, Dana, Followill and Harp Pregame Show tonight on FSSouthwest at 9 ... and follow the game on Twitter with the Mavs Twitterverse ... The 75-Member Staff!

If you like this level of insight into the World Champion Dallas Mavericks ...

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Scout Kyle Leath on How to Beat the Blazers:

• DEFENSIVE TRANSITION– Blazers will look to get out and run at any opportunity. They do a good job of forcing turnovers. The Mavs must first take care of ball then stop transition on misses.

• OPERATE – Execute in the half-court. Be strong with the ball and make then defend and take advantage when they gamble.

• BACK-UPS – Portland's top players are quality. Mavericks need to use depth, ball movement and positive emotion to wear down the Blazers.

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